We may be witnessing the greatest migration of human beings in history someone said the other day. I am not sure of the facts of that but there have been many displacements of huge numbers of people over history. We have been watching over the last few years the displacement of folks from the middle East and their movement into Europe. Our church has adopted many resolutions calling for the conscience of Christians’ to be raised up to at least pray for the plight of the refugee and immigrant and persecuted.
The church walks a line that cannot be defined by politicians. We are called to help the “alien and the fatherless and the widow and the orphan”. The number of Bible passages remarking and ordering our life together and demanding the care for these folks reveals an interesting concept. In God’s eyes all of us are orphaned, without God in the world. All of us are alien, strangers in a strange land. Unless redeemed and saved by God’s intervention we would be lost forever. Our concern for the marginalized has nothing to do with votes and everything to do with mercy, the same mercy bestowed upon us in Christ.
A letter from Pastor Harrison our Synod President last year at this time set the stage and it is worth repeating.
Dear Fellow Lutheran:
It’s unprecedented. For the first time in most of our lifetimes, there are more
than 50 million refugees worldwide. That’s six times the population of New
Many flee severe religious persecution. Others exit war-torn countries where
there is little hope of peace or livelihood. We all have witnessed the gruesome
executions of confessing Christians on our TVs and computer screens.
Our partner church in Germany, die Selbständige Evangelisch—Lutherische
Kirche (SELK), is preparing to respond to the immediate physical needs — food,
clothing, shelter — of these refugees and the expected 800,000 more to come, and
with that, spiritual care centered on the Gospel.
As they do, the LCMS will be walking alongside them.
And this is just one reason why:
SELK Pastor Gottfried Martens has witnessed the conversion and baptisms of
hundreds of former Muslims who are now active members of his Berlin congregation.
“Even though the challenges are enormous, we always experience that these
refugees are a great blessing and encouragement for our faith.” said Martens.
In response to the ongoing global refugee crisis, we have established a unique
fund to enable us to provide the Gospel of Christ and His mercy when and where
it is needed: Christ’s Care for the Persecuted & Displaced
To help, contact LCMS Mission Advancement at 888-930-4438 or visit:
May we, who have received the undeserved and abundant mercy of Christ,
bear His mercy as God enables us to will and to do. Will you please join me now
in coming alongside our German partners, and other partners in the future,
as they care for so many strangers in their midst?
Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison
President, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod